Egleston Square After Annexation to Boston in 1873
On Oct 7, 1873, Egleston Square (together with Jamaica Plain) was incorporated into the City of Boston. 
Over the next decade, with an increased revenue base Jamaica Plain saw the fruits of annexation. New roads, water and sewer lines, schools, fire houses, police stations were all constructed. Jamaica Plain aslo saw the inevitable caboose on such trains — real estate investors.
A study needs to be written on what annexation did for Egleston Square and Jamaica Plain; recent new information provides one chapter. 
The May 4, 1874 Boston Globe Real Estate section-always a huge booster of the propertied class –gushed that:
“Probably no other section of the city possesses more attractions, or holds out more inducements for investment in real estate, than the territory between Dudley Square and Egleston Square.”
The Globe of May 12, 1874 reported that annexation of West Roxbury and Jamaica Plain added 6000 acres to the City of Boston along with three principal railway stations (Boylston, Jamaica Plain and Forest Hills) as well as the horsecar line down Washington Street.
The paper also noted that new water and sewer lines would soon increase real estate and that the new ward called Boylston and the vicinity of Green Street were being quickly built up; around Boylston Station (the present day Stony Brook T stop) houses were being sold for $5000 to $10,000. These were expensive homes in 1874.
For about 25 years, Egleston Square was the nursery center of Jamaica Plain. There was a nursery at Forest Hills (about where the north head house for the T sits on the Casey Arborway is today). This nursery largely served visitors to Forest Hills Cemetery, among other customers. 
Egleston Square had three nurseries. The oldest appears to be the Herman Grundel Nursery on Washington Street at West Walnut Park. There was a long L-shaped glass house and wooden building that was either a home or an office or both. The business closed and the property subdivided when Columbus Avenue was extended through the property in 1895.
Grundel’s competition was the HA Smith Nursery on the opposite corner. This business lasted until 1912 when the first public auto garage was built on the site (replaced by housing in 2005).
The one nursery we have the most information on is the Stieirt Brothers Nursery at 30170 Washington Street where Egleston Crossing is today.  Its description gives a hint of what Egleston Square was like at the time of annexation as well as what the Grundel and Smith nurseries looked like.
In 1873, Frederick Howard owned an estate of three acres at Egleston Square street and Walnut Park; his large house faced Walnut Park. In 1875, he subdivided his land holdings -one of the largest in Egleston Square - into mostly modest sized lots and put in a street perpendicular to Egleston Square street. One acre–that Howard may have leased out-was set aside for a nursery.
The Boston Globe of Oct 5, 1875 published an unsigned letter that reported
“Through the enterprise and liberality of FA Howard of Walnut Park there has been erected during the present year a beautiful and elaborate greenhouse, this day opened to the public.”
“ The residents of this delightful locality have heretofore been proud of the annual display of elegant bulbs and flowers on the premises of several gentlemen in the vicinity.”
The letter went on to say that the vicinity had always has an extensive assortment of flowers and “three old-time caterers… We have had the pleasure of examining this Crystal Palace a few days since.”
The Saturday Evening Gazette sent a reporter out to report on the new greenhouse the day it opened and his story was published on Oct 3, 1875. The writer specifically calls the area–a year after incorporation-a part of Boston.
“ As every Bostonian is interested in improvements made in the city, the opening of the new greenhouse erected for the Stieirt Brothers at 3070 Washington St. Egleston Square is worth special mention.”
“There are six greenhouses and covers an area of an acre built by JJ McNutt. All the flowers were purchased in Paris, France by Emil Stieirt. In one of the rooms were several thousand roses.”
Charles and Emil Stieirt were reported to have a long experience in horticulture.
“ The Egleston Square and Forest Hills cars pass the doors and the ride out from the city is extremely pleasant.”
Obviously within the neighborhood of Egleston and Dudley Squares there was a large enough market for three nursery businesses selling- among other flowers –roses.
A glance at the 1884 Atlas of West Roxbury shows that customers for these nurseries were living in big hillside homes dotted along Walnut Avenue and the Stony Brook valley. Perhaps the sisters from Notre Dame Academy walked over Washington St to buy bouquets and arrangements for the classrooms and dormitories?
By 1900, The Stieirt Nursery property was rented by the Metropolitan Street Railway Company for an electric streetcar turnaround and in 1916 a covered streetcar depot with connecting ramps was on the site.
The first indication of what annexation meant was public buildings being added to the area. The Boston Globe of August 11, 1875 reported that the City of Boston was planning a firehouse in Egleston Square. A two story, panel-brick, two-bay building with a squat bell tower was built about 1880 at Washington and Atherton streets, near Grundel’s Nursery. (The site is still City property and is a public parking lot).
On Sept 21, 1876 the City Council ordered that a 33,750 square lot on Egleston Square Street be acquired for a grammar school. This school was likely designed by the City Architect, George M. Clough. The building was a big, broad, three story, face brick and sandstone Renaissance-style edifice and was completed on January 1, 1882. It was named for George Putnam, Pastor of the First Church of Roxbury who had died in 1878. It was razed about 1961 for a school playground.
In 1922 a new building was started on School Street. This school was designed by Joseph A Driscoll in the prevailing Georgian Revival style. It was named for President Theodore Roosevelt who had died in 1919. The school opened in 1923.
This article was written by Richard Heath in April 2019.
 Including present day West Roxbury, the vote was 720 for and 613 against. Boston Globe. Oct.8, 1873.
 An excellent and original beginning is Local Attachments, Alexander Von Hoffman, and Johns Hopkins Press. 1994. Chapter 6. “Improvement and the Politics of Place.” A book that rewards study.
 It was still rural though. The Globe reported on April 24, 1874 that Thomas Motley, who owned the Bussey Farm, sold 35 Jersey cows to various gentlemen farmers for $5000. Bussey Farm went on to become the Arnold Arboretum.
 Grove Hall also had a commercial nursery. In 1876 Azelle Bowditch built a half acre greenhouse at 646 Warren Street near Georgia Street that operated for 20 years. It was replaced with woodframe storefronts that are till there.
 Thanks to Steve Jerome for bringing this to my attention and sending the Saturday Evening Gazette clipping.